Poem: True grit


I felt grit in my eye and my god didn’t it burn.
It stung against my eyelashes and dripped, almost,
but this was less surprising than you’d imagine.

I’ve often found a regular sandblast in my face
during fundraising adverts for charities; those dogs, those kids,
those beautiful headscarved women.

Realising it’s easy to stop the fire galling me
by pointing my stare up high to a corner of the room,
most of the time I cling on to that silly salty droplet.

It’s easier gripping the teardrop and rebelling
against its silted scratch, when the lurch of the stomach
that goes with it is born of TV talk show turmoil.

I feel that gritty grumble beneath my eyelids most days.
Man, doesn’t it sting. Especially so when I’m quiet
and reflecting inside of me, outside of me; past, present.

Soft blown seaside gravel dust flecks my brow.
I try to look to a corner – no corner. Just remembering
sitting on stone steps that were covered in dust as well.

Stinging and solid I can’t hold them anymore.
I feel grit in my eye again, like I felt it there, then.
I think the first time I felt you die was in my eye.

I’ve tried letting you out, but you flicker against my heart,
and somersaults flutter my quiet inside, catapulting me back
where I wasn’t even expected to try and hold it in.

I can’t stop this damn grit, gritting up my gritty eyes
with its growing gritty grimness. I’m not and never have
been sure, why I should even try.

I feel you behind my eyes, resolute and real, forever in
and always pushing to get out. Again, I feel my eyes swell,
dampen, and then hold firm. The grit in my eye is here to stay.

Image: Teardrop, by Storm Thorgerson

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